United States-based patent attorney Erlinda Sarno, who graduated magna cum laude from the University with a degree in chemistry in 1966, passed away at the age of 72 last Feb. 1 in her home in California.

She was known as a civic and professional leader, dedicated to the development and patenting of certain inventions. She worked for Baxter Healthcare Corp., an American healthcare company, where she occupied managerial and supervisory positions after graduating from California State University-Long Beach (CSU-LB) in 1975.

Sarno was awarded the first Dave Winchell Patent Award by Baxter International for the patent with the most significant business impact in the corporation.

Some of Sarno’s patented inventions include stable intravenously administrable immune globulin preparation and hollow semi-circularly curved loudspeaker enclosure, among others.

She received numerous awards for her civic involvement, including the Southern California Edison Leadership Award in 2010 and Citizen of the Year Award by the Lions Club in 2007.

For Wigsby Mendoza, a colleague, Sarno was persistent in her work, making sure that Filipino-American businesses can compete for opportunities.

“The USA business market can be daunting and that is why Linda’s wisdom to guide the Filipino businessmen in the US is just what is needed,” said Mendoza in an e-mail to the Varsitarian.

Mendoza was working in a water company when he first met Sarno, then of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County.

Sarno co-founded chamber in 1994, a nonprofit organization of Filipino American entrepreneurs, professionals and students. She was president of the group from 2004 to 2005.

Sarno’s wisdom in guiding Filipino businessmen is what is needed in the US market, Mendoza said. “Linda’s brand of leadership was able to unite members of the chamber and to keep it going,” he added.

When Sarno passed away, people mourned the loss of Sarno’s undying passion in developing science and community involvement in California.

“[She] was a beloved community organizer and leader who supported the development and professionalism of Filipino American businesses and raised awareness and appreciation for Filipino culture and cuisine in Southern California,” said US Rep. Ed Royce in a statement. Royce worked with Sarno for the advancement of Southern California’s Filipino-American community in 2011.

According to Royce, Sarno started initiatives in the community to promote the advantages of green technology, health, and conservation both in business and everyday life, such as helping young entrepreneurs in California in improving their businesses.

In 2011, Sarno was awarded the Outstanding Chemistry Alumna for Industrial Research and Development and Public Service during the quadricentennial celebration of UST.

Her significant contributions in the field of human plasma fractionation merited the award. She was joined by three other chemistry alumni of the College of Science.

In addition, Sarno started and headed the University of Santo Tomas Chemistry Periodic Table Fundraiser, an endowment for chemistry students with financial difficulties.

She also established a scholarship at the Department of Chemistry in CSU-LB.

The death of Sarno was a great loss of a “truly compassionate being,” Mendoza said.

“[We lost someone] who is devoted to improving the lives of others and who also had inspired many of us to make a difference,” Mendoza said. Mary Grace C. Esmaya


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.